Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow showed tremendous determination and desire in this afternoon’s British Grand Prix, the home crowd hero racing to a seventh place finish in front of a record attendance at Silverstone.
British teammate Bradley Smith also demonstrated his battling qualities in the 20-lap race to secure ninth position, which was his eighth top 10 finish in 12 appearances on Yamaha’s YZR-M1 machine. Almost 74,000 British fans were cheering when Crutchlow kick off the race in a decent way from the front row of the grid.
But riding in considerable pain and discomfort after three high-speed crashes in the build-up to today’s action, the 27-year-old was unable to keep himself in contention for the top six, despite producing yet another performance that typifies his fighting spirit and never-give-up attitude.
After defying the pain, Crutchlow still got a rapturous reception from his loyal home crowd, who were appreciative of his efforts to claim a 10th top 10 finish of the season.
Smith kept his challenge for a top 10 position in the overall World Championship standings on course after he was narrowly beaten to eighth place in the closing stages.
The 22-year-old attacked from the off and brilliantly kept Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso at bay until four laps from the end. Relegated to ninth, Smith mounted a relentless pursuit of American Hayden in the final stages but he couldn’t find a way through and the chequered flag saw him less than 0.2s behind the 2006 MotoGP World Champion.
Cal Crutchlow 7th 136 points “Honestly I’m pleased the weekend is over and at least we finished the race. It certainly wasn’t the easiest race I have ever done and it is disappointing that I couldn’t challenge. But after the crashes I just had no power at all in my right arm and I was also lacking grip at the start when the tyres were cold. Unfortunately that is what happens when you crash three times in a weekend. I didn’t give myself enough time to get laps under the belt to set the bike up properly. The only positive we can take away is that we have been faster than last year. But it’s definitely less than what I hoped for when we arrived at the track on Wednesday. Congratulations though to Jorge, Marc and Dani because they put on an incredible show today and had fantastic speed. I’d have loved to be up there with them and now I’m just looking forward to a few quiet days at home before we go to Misano where I hope to fighting closer to the front again.”
Bradley Smith 9th – 66 points “I was very pleased with my start and we decided to race with the softer rear tyre option, as we were lacking a bit of grip during the whole weekend. I wanted the sun to come out but unfortunately the temperatures remained cold and after just three laps we already knew that the race would be difficult one. Probably the hard tyre would have been the right choice but we did not have enough time to evaluate it yesterday. We did what we could and even if I didn’t want to finish behind Nicky, I decided it was safer the finish the race after Andrea crashed out just in front of me. All in all it has been a tough weekend but riding in front of nearly 75.000 British here today has been an incredible feeling.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager : “I would like to say I’m happy it’s over because it has been a really tough weekend for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. This is a special weekend for both Cal and Bradley and the motivation to do well is maybe sometimes a bit too big. But it seems that Cal has some bad luck here every year. We were hoping after the qualifying that he could fight for the podium but the crash this morning in qualifying did not help to build up his confidence. I believe he was just riding to see the finish line and I’m glad he scored some points and finished the weekend in positive fashion. I really want to thank Cal also this weekend for his bravery. He was pushing all the weekend and he never give up after some big crashes. Bradley also had a strong weekend. Again for nearly the whole race he was battling with Andrea and Nicky and he managed to stay in front of them for many laps, which is not an easy task considering how experienced they are. I’m happy both of them finished their home race and we can prepare for the next challenge in Misano after a very tough period in the Championship.”
Source: Team Tech3
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